Enoki mushrooms have been cultivated for hundreds of years and are prized in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Enoki were one of the first mushrooms studied for cancer prevention. An epidemiologist in Japan was curious why the cancer rates for people living in Nagano prefecture were abnormally low from 1972-1986. He found out that this prefecture was the center of Enoki mushroom cultivation.
White Enoki, Flammulina velutipes
Enoki mushrooms are recognized by their almost pure white color and long stems topped with petite, convex caps. Their texture is tender yet firm with a crunchy bite and mild, refreshing flavor. Wild Enoki mushrooms are significantly different in appearance from the cultivated form as they have larger caps and shorter stems and their coloring is orange to brown.
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Cultivation difficulty: Moderate
Colonization/Fruiting Temperatures: 70-75F/40-60F
Enoki grow well on a wide variety of Hardwood logs and stumps in the shade of Temperate landscapes, as this directly mimics their natural habitat. Poplar, Elm, Alder, Sweetgum, Oak, Walnut, Persimmon, and Mulberry are all good candidates for growing, aged Douglas Fir offers a less desirable, but still effective softwood option.
Enoki mushrooms offer dietary fiber and protein as well as a significant amount of niacin, calcium, potassium, selenium and iron. They also provide antioxidants and are being studied for their ability to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Enoki mushrooms are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and are excellent immune system boosters.
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